The University is aware of an article in a prominent national newspaper that created the impression that TUT is considering cancelling exams. However, Vice-Chancellor & Principal, Prof Lourens van Staden says that this is most definitely not the case.
If anything, TUT academic and support staff have been working tirelessly during the lockdown period to ensure that all our students can complete the 2020 academic year successfully.
This includes planning for various scenarios, such as multimodal remote learning, as well as the phased return of students once the lockdown measures allow for this. Plans have also been developed to prepare the University’s facilities for the eventual return of staff and students, as well as to provide the required personal protection items, among others.
“At present, the University is finalising the strategy for the commencement of multimodal remote teaching in line with the directive by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation. To this end, a second student survey was launched to obtain information from all our students, both NSFAS and self-funded. This information from the survey will assist in the provisioning of data, the delivery of learning material in the preferred format, as well as to determine the need for laptops. We therefore urge our students to complete the survey (https://tut4life.tut.ac.za) before midnight on Friday, 15 May 2020,” says Prof van Staden.
In terms of assessments, various options are being considered for the remote teaching phase, including structured online assessments in every subject. Where students may not able to participate in online assessments, they will be afforded an opportunity to be assessed upon return to campus. One of the scenarios TUT is currently considering is a new academic calendar for 2020, which may mean deferring examinations to early 2021.
“Once the strategy for the rollout of multimodal remote teaching is in place, the University will communicate the specific timeframes and model to all stakeholders. The University will similarly inform stakeholders with regards to official plans once the lockdown measures are eased to allow for the phased return of staff and students,” says Prof van Staden.
From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, subsequent early recess and lockdown, TUT has stated that no student will be left behind in the 2020 academic year and all its plans will therefore cater for all students in terms of remote teaching, as well as contact learning as far as possible.